SAL: Flag education

I believe the best place to start with flag education is children and the best places to reach the children is through Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Then, I would recommend trying to get into your local schools. Talk to the school board, the principal or even the teachers and work with them as much as you can. While many towns have their own public schools many areas have private schools, as well as home school groups.

There are many great tools to use, including The American Legion’s "For Which It Stands," which is a 20-minute DVD that is recommended for grades 5-9. There is also "Let’s Be Right on Flag Etiquette," which is a 16-page book that features questions and answers. Many towns have parades and every parade I have ever been to will, at some point, display at least one American flag. When you make one of those stops, ask to have a few moments to hand out a little information about the American flag.

Please email me at with different ways that your SAL detachment promotes flag education.

Some of my personal favorite facts that everyone should know is what the 50 stars and 13 stripes on the American flag represent. There is a star for each state and the 13 stripes represent the 13 original states. Can anyone tell me how many stripes the American flag has ever had? For a few years, starting in 1792, the American flag had 15 stripes. While I do not know the true reason, I believe the reason for this is because our first flag had 13 stars, stripes and states. Two more states were formed in 1791 and 1792, so two stars and two stripes were added.

Respectively submitted,

Phillip Cook

Americanism Commission member